Work safely with heavy equipment
Operating heavy machinery can create significant hazards on a construction site. The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health advocates the following practices when working with heavy machinery:
- General repairs must not be made to powered equipment until workers are protected from the movement of the equipment and its parts. Workers must comply with lockout/tagout when applicable.
- Engines must be stopped during refueling.
- All vehicles must be checked for proper operation at the beginning of every shift.
- Whenever mobile equipment enters a public thoroughfare, traffic controls must be used.
- Flaggers – wearing high-visibility safety gear – should be at all locations where barricades and warning signs cannot control moving traffic.
Jobsite vehicles must be equipped with the following:
- Operable service, emergency and parking brakes
- Windshield wipers and defogging equipment as required
- Safety belts if the vehicle has rollover protection structures
- Fenders or mud flaps
- Adequate seating if vehicles are used to transport workers
- Lights for nighttime operation
- A manually operated warning device
- Every vehicle with a body capacity of 2.5 cubic yards or more, or those operating where rear vision is blocked, must be equipped with an automatic back-up alarm.
- Haulage vehicles must be under operator control and kept in gear when descending grades.
- Exposed scissor points on front-end loaders must be guarded.
- Vehicles loaded by cranes, shovels, loaders or similar devices must have an adequate cab or canopy for operator protection.
- Dust control is required when dust seriously limits visibility. Operators in dusty work environments must use adequate respiratory protection.
- Loads on vehicles must be secured against displacement.